Travel from Geneva to Lucerne suggestions. Is it worth it to take the Golden Pass?

Hi. We are arriving in Geneva for 2 nights in May, traveling to Lucerne for 2 nights, and then on to Zurich. Is the Swiss Rail Pass a good option, or should we just buy tickets? Also, is the train from Geneva to Lucerne beautiful, or is it worth it to take the Golden Pass train from Montreux to Lucerne?Thanks!
1 person has
this question
+1
Reply
  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 10, 2018 17:42
    Hi Jill,

    In Switzerland, beautiful scenery is pretty much everywhere, but I would still probably recommend going to Lucerne by way of the GoldenPass route. If you do, the most economical option for you would be a specific pass called the 'Swiss Transfer Ticket'.

    The Swiss Transfer Ticket covers the ticket costs for one trip from any Swiss airport (or border station) to any single destination in Switzerland and then another trip from that destination to any Swiss airport (or border station). With regard to your itinerary, Geneva and Zurich would serve as your 'airports', while Lucerne would serve as your 'destination'. Your trips from Geneva to Lucerne and Lucerne to Zurich would both just have to be completed within 24 hours apiece.

    If you wanted stay overnight somewhere in between Geneva and Lucerne, for instance, the Swiss Transfer Ticket option would not be valid, and I would instead recommend purchasing regular point-to-point tickets.

    For the Swiss Transfer Ticket, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/swiss-transfer-ticket-5935.

    Geneva to Lucerne (via the GoldenPass route)

    To connect to the GoldenPass route, you would first have to make your way down to Montreux.

    The GoldenPass scenic route runs from Montreux to Lucerne and involves changing trains in Zweisimmen and Interlaken along the way. As long as you make this trip in one shot, the Swiss Transfer Ticket would be valid to cover all of it.

    Of the trains comprising of the GoldenPass route, reservations would only be recommended on the segment from Montreux to Zweisimmen. For travel with the Swiss Transfer Ticket, you would purchase reservations from Montreux to Zweisimmen by searching this segment of the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'.

    On trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken and Interlaken to Lucerne, reservations are possible but not necessary. All trains from Interlaken to Lucerne have panoramic windows for taking in all the scenery.

    For planning purposes, you can view schedules for this full route by searching segment-by-segment. Therefore, you would do one search from Geneva to Montreux, another search for connecting trains from Montreux to Zweisimmen, another search for connecting trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken, and then another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Lucerne.

    Lucerne to Zurich

    From Lucerne to Zurich, you would just take a direct train taking only 45-50 minutes. Trains from Lucerne to Zurich do not accept reservations, so the Swiss Transfer Ticket is all you would need to board.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thank you for mentioning the construction- we were planning on taking the GoldenPass from Montreux to Lucerne August 11. Do you know if the construction will still be going on by then? Also- do I understand correctly that there is no need (or no ability) to make a reservation for the first part of the trip from Montreux to Zweisimmen? We will be travelling with a Swiss Travel Pass, second class.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) July 03, 2018 17:18
      Hi Kim,

      The construction is actually completed, so you would now be able to take a direct train from Montreux to Zweisimmen on your way to Lucerne on the GoldenPass route.

      Montreux-Zweisimmen is actually the segment of the GoldenPass on which reservations are highly recommended. On trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken and Interlaken to Lucerne, reservations are not necessary, so the Swiss Travel Pass is all you would need to board.

      For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Montreux to Zweisimmen by searching the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Swiss Travel Pass’).

      For the remaining part of the connection, you can still use the route search feature on our homepage to the view schedules. You would do one search from Zweisimmen to Interlaken and then another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Lucerne.

      When you pull up the results of your Zweisimmen-Interlaken search, disregard any of the options showing '1 connection', because these do not run along the GoldenPass scenic route. Only the direct trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken run along the GoldenPass route.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thank you- good to know the construction is finished. Very helpful.

    We will be using a Swiss Half Fare Travel Card, starting in Geneva and going to Montreux, where we plan to stay the night and see Chateau de Chillon. The next morning, we will depart on the Goldenpass route and have decided to go only as far as Interlaken, where we will change course and spend the afternoon visiting the Ballenberg museum. We are due to meet our tour group in Meiringen around 18-18:30 on that second day.

    My question is- how do we manage the tickets with the Half fare pass?-- if we buy a set of tickets to get to Interlaken, can we stop along the way and interrupt the trip before carrying on, or are we committed to specific trains and times. Also do we need to buy separate tickets for every train we take, which would slow down transfers if we have short connections. One more question- if we have a Half fare ticket we have bought and we miss the train... what happens?

    Lots of questions! We're from Vancouver Canada-- we don't have passenger trains!
    • Jeff (Official Rep) July 05, 2018 20:10
      Hi Kim,

      The actual half-priced tickets (to go with a Swiss Half Fare Card) are not available to be purchased on our website, but they can be purchased by calling us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.

      If you're from Canada, you would click here for the Swiss Half Fare Card itself: https://www.raileurope.ca/pass/swiss-....

      With regard to trains in Switzerland, only a reservation would be for a specific train. The Swiss Half Fare Card and the supplemental half-price tickets would not lock you into specific trains. If you purchase a reservation for the Montreux-Zweisimmen segment (as is recommended), then that reservation would be for the specific train/departure you choose. Should you decide not to use that reservation and leave at a different time, you would lose the reservation, but the Swiss Half Fare Card and your corresponding half-price ticket would still be valid for you to use for another departure.
    • Thank you- that is very helpful!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly happy, confident, thankful, excited